Rockers raise funds to replace stolen equipment

Whitehorse band Speed Control's upcoming tour to Alberta and Saskatchewan was thrown into jeopardy after thieves recently broke into the trio's trailer.

Whitehorse band Speed Control’s upcoming tour to Alberta and Saskatchewan was thrown into jeopardy after thieves recently broke into the trio’s trailer.

The incident took place at the tail end of a recent 10-day tour when the band was staying at a hotel in Surrey, B.C.

Guitarist and singer Graeme Peters woke up on Sept. 14 and noticed something terribly wrong.

“I walked out to the car at about 8:30 a.m. to put my suitcase in the trailer and it was wide open,” he said.

“I didn’t think I’d left it open the night before. The locks were on the ground and had been cut by bolt cutters. When it hits you, it’s like, ‘Oh my God, this happened to us.’”

Security camera footage revealed several culprits had come by around 4 a.m.

For roughly 45 minutes they went back and forth between the trailer and a nearby alley.

They made off with about $7,000 worth of equipment, including pedals, cables, a public address system and a custom bass, among other valuable items.

They even took one of Peters’s golf clubs, “the one I never use.”

The theft took place despite the presence of a night watchman and the front desk clerk, Peters said.

The police took down the serial numbers of the stolen equipment but couldn’t make out any faces from the grainy footage.

“I thought we were safe there,” Peters said.

When the band reached out to its insurance company, they learned the equipment wasn’t covered.

“As soon as the trailer left my property I needed a different kind of insurance for the contents of the trailer,” Peters said.

“You never think of that when you get something insured. That’s kind of a big bummer.”

Fortunately for them, help is already on the way.

Yamaha Canada, one of the band’s sponsors, has stepped in and donated a brand new PA system.

Now the band is trying to raise $5,000 via an online fundraising campaign to cover the rest of the stolen equipment.

They hope to raise that amount by the end of October.

So far, 16 donors have given $1,910.

The band still plans to hit the road next week, with the help of some borrowed equipment.

They have 44 stops scheduled in schools, community halls and bars across Alberta and Saskatchewan.

A few schools have even hired them to write new school anthems, which will be created in collaboration with students, Peters said.

“Our biggest goal is getting kids to play music again,” he said.

“I feel it’s very important in my life, it’s helped me a lot. Music programs are among the first to go when there are cuts. If we can inspire kids to grab an instrument here and there, then hurray.”

The tour starts in Grande Prairie, Alta. on Oct. 7, where they will pick up their new PA system and loaner equipment.

“Hopefully by the end of the month we can replace what we’ve lost,” Peters said.

This time around, the band’s trailer is getting a serious makeover.

Tamarack Welding is “bomb proofing” it and Peters joked he hadn’t ruled out setting up booby traps inside it, too.

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